I’ve been very aware of this movie for a while now, and very aware of avoiding reading reviews, articles and spoilers. I figured it was a last chance for George Lucas to put things right. He almost does.
The obvious stuff first then, and I’ll begin with a small suggestion. Should Mr.Lucas decide to make another movie, of any kind, he really MUST employ someone who will disagree with him. The most recent Star Wars movies seem full of little moments where you can almost imagine the conversations:
“I think we should make that into a little comedy moment… ”
“These lines are ideal, don’t you think?”
“These ARE the actors you’re looking for…” *waves hand in front of producers face*
“.. these are the actors we’re looking for…”
Speaking of which, and it pains me to say this because I’ve enjoyed some of his other work, Ewan McGregor is awful. Natalie Portman isn’t much better and Hayden Christiansen just isn’t threatening enough for me. Ian McDiarmid steals ever seen he is in, but even he has some awful AWFUL dialogue. It’s almost painful at times, at least the original movies tried to keep these things to a minimum. Unforunately all the action sequences in the world don’t make up for those moments when a badly written, badly delivered line jerks you from the Star Wars universe straight back into the cinema you are sitting in.
The good bits are very good though. Some of the battle scenes are fantastic (in every sense of the word) to the point of feeling a little forced on occasion. The reliance on closeups during some of the lightsaber battles is a huge annoyance, and I think they would have been better served training the actors for longer to make it appear more realistic.
Beyond the obvious and jaw-dropping special effects I’m struggling though. I’m a huge fan of the original three movies, and had hoped that this movie would finally bridge the gap in terms of quality. It almost gets there, almost. There are some funny comic moments (one nearer the end with Yoda is spot on), and it certainly is a darker movie than its predecessors not least due to the settings. Watching Senator Palpatine manipulate Anakin is the key part of the movie and is handled well, Padme’s death less so, and the loose ends are tied up quite nicely with the bonus of not being dragged out (as everyone knows how it’s going to end).
Anyway, it’s one of those movies that you will go and see regardless of what I say, if you are a Star Wars fan there is no way you can not watch this, and you’ll enjoy it on some levels (we are a forgiving bunch it seems), if you aren’t a fan then I think it still stands up well as a Sci-Fi romp.
I can’t wait to see what happens in Episode 4!